- I’m fascinated by colors. A friend once called me a colorist, and I guess that’s what I am, Petra Kaminen Mosher says.
Taiko meets Petra at her studio in Oulu, in a nice green neighborhood just a few kilometers from downtown. The small studio is filled with Petra’s colorful paintings created with a unique and recognizable technique which over the years has become the artists’s trademark.
- I like doing these shapes and exploring how to turn a flat style into a three-dimensional form, she says, adding that she started playing with the style already in 2002.
The aim was to create something abstract and use lots of colors without painting thick layers. In addition to fully abstract works, Petra paints plants, animals and human portraits. Animals are oftentimes cats, since there are three of them in the family. Cats visit the studio regurlarly and therefore represent a natural source of inspiration.
Plenty of inspiration comes from photos that Petra takes. For example pictures of bonfires have turned into paintings, and Petra plans to continue on that path.
- I have to find some more bonfires to photograph. Luckily, midsummer with its fires is getting closer!
”The naked you has to travel”
Petra’s human portraits are mostly commission works or represent her family. One of the eye catchers is a very Finnish portrait of Petra’s husband sitting naked on a bench after a sauna.
Petra recently participated in a London-based portrait competition with this painting and got chosen to the second round from 2500 applicants. She hadn’t told her husband about the competition beforehand, but had to reveal the secret since the artwork needed to be shipped to London for a review.
Finland meets USA
Petra Kaminen Mosher was born and raised in New York. She studied at Boston University's College of Fine Arts and graduated in 2002. Petra’s mother Marjukka Kaminen, also an established painter, is Finnish, and in 2004 Petra relocated to Finland.
Both countries are clearly present in Petra’s art. For example, a while ago Petra took her easel and painter’s box and went to a close-by island to paint traditional Finnish landscapes. On the other hand at the studio, she has been sketching her very first political painting series with president Trump as a theme. The main idea of the series is Trump destroying the whole planet.
As many other artists, Petra sometimes gets intimidated by the blank canvas. However, the feeling always passes and paintings start to form organically. Sometimes the purely abstract aesthetic wins over the original source of inspiration. It will be interesting to see how the political series will turn out. Stay tuned!